The second installment of our Meet The Artist series.
This week we are talking to Amanda one of our artists here at Inkwell. To read other interviews from our Meet the Artist Feature click here
‘Tree of Life’ – Acrylic on canvas – 2012
Q. How long have you been drawing, painting or been creative?
I always looked forward to art lessons at school but unfortunately couldn’t pursue it as a part of my school curriculum. I kept an interest in being creative throughout my teens and painted mainly in watercolours in my spare time while I was studying at college. Once in further education I didn’t have the time to keep it up. I took various courses as a mature student in my 20’s and 30’s but really it was only in the last ten years that I painted more seriously. I also started to dabble with jewellery making during this time. Coming to Inkwell definitely brought it out of me and gave me the confidence to nurture my art interests.
‘Vitae‘ – acrylic on canvas – 2012
Q. Have you ever had any art training?
Not as such. I really wanted to take up Art as a subject at school but due to the timetabling system and being a pianist I was forced to take Music instead. I am considering going back to university to study art and get a degree.
I have done various other courses such as Ceramics and Interior design at NVQ level and later on in life I went to Bradford College to study Window Dressing (Visual Merchandising) where I was awarded a BDS distinction and Nationwide Bronze Medal for that year.
Silver Birch – Acrylic on Canvas
Autumns Breath – Acrylic on canvas
Q. What are your favourite materials and what is your preferred art form?
I always paint in Acrylics, it suits the way I work, plus I am intrinsically an impatient person. I love paper too and really wish I had the patience to master paper cutting which is an art-form I really do admire. I also work with inks and pens and the other main material I use is copper wire for my jewellery. I adore copper, it’s feel, colour and earthiness. I can’t say which art-form is my favourite, it’s a toss up between painting or wirework.
Up in the Trees – Original Ink on paper. Digitally Enhanced.
Q. Who or what inspires you?
Nature and the natural world are my biggest inspirations. Having been brought up in the tropics I spent a lot of time outdoors playing with insects, plants and other wildlife. I like ethnic tribal styles of jewellery so African or Middle Eastern art and jewellery inspires me. Artists such as Klimt, Margaret Macdonald and Aubrey Beardsley and the Art Nouveau movement. I also love the work of Petra Borner the illustrator, Mia Perlman the paper artists, and wirework artisans such as Mary Tucker.
Twilight – 2010
Q. Describe your style and method of working
I would say my style is definitely organic and I love including intricate marks and patterns. I am very impatient and spontaneous and do very little preparation before I attempt a piece both in my art and my jewellery making. My attitude is ‘dive in and have a go’. I have learnt not to be too precious about things and if I have made a bold move, the result may be a happy mistake. On the whole my jewellery is slightly more controlled and planned.
Lady of the Lake
Q. How does being creative help your well being?
When I am painting I feel like life just couldn’t be anything without it, it’s euphoric, engrossing, relaxing and takes me into states of mind that give me a huge sense of escape. I struggle with anxiety and taking time out to make or paint something helps me to stay calm. I feel a sense of control when I paint. I am in charge of that canvas or piece of wire, the outcome is in my hands something that life hasn’t always offered me.
Tribal Copper and Agate Necklace
Q. Has Inkwell helped you on your creative journey and aided you towards recovery?
Inkwell really kick started my creative journey. Although I used to dabble in arts before it never became a way of life until I started coming to Inkwell. My confidence has been boosted enormously from being here, to have feedback and critique from fellow artists and the tutors, to be able to feel safe and relaxed amongst people who don’t judge you. I finally feel like a person with purpose and have gained a bit more respect for myself and my abilities from being here.
Boudicca – Copper wirework necklace